Largest city in India, capital of the state of Maharashtra. Was founded by the Portuguese in the late sixteenth century, who originally named the area "Bom Bahia" (Good Bay); in the seventeenth century it was ceded to the British as part of a dowry by the Portuguese royal family when one of their daughters married Charles II. "Bom Bahia" was eventually corrupted to "Bombay," a more Anglicized spelling of the original name. In the centuries that followed, it grew rapidly into one of the most important cities in India, particularly as a hub of the textile and leather tanning industries. Now it is the financial capital of the subcontinent, one of the most diverse cities in India, home to some of the richest and poorest people in the nation. In the 1990s Bombay was renamed "Mumbai," a more Hindi-sensitive equivalent of its old name. It is characterized by excellent examples of British colonial architecture, sprawling slums and shantytowns, large office towers, and some of the most expensive highrise apartment buildings in the world.
Mumbai is home to almost 12 million people.
by mitul April 30, 2006